The Lancet Commission on global mental health and sustainable development

28 October, 2018

Below are the citation, selected extracts, and a comment from me. With thanks to HIFA member and lead author Vikram Patel.

CITATION: The Lancet Commissions| volume 392, issue 10157, p1553-1598, october 27, 2018

The Lancet Commission on global mental health and sustainable development

Prof Vikram Patel et al.

Published: October 09, 2018


The five leading grand challenges for global mental health

1. Integrate core packages of mental health services into routine primary health care

2. Reduce the cost and improve the supply of effective psychotropic drugs for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders

3. Train health professionals in low-income and middle-income countries to provide evidence-based care for children with mental, neurological, and substance use disorders

4. Provide adequate community-based care and rehabilitation for people with chronic mental illness

5. Strengthen the mental health component in the training of all health-care professionals to create an equitable distribution of mental health providers

Digital technology can help to educate the public and disseminate information about common mental disorders through antistigma campaigns, substance use prevention messaging, or efforts to promote awareness by use of short message service (SMS) text messages or social media.

Digital technology can support effective training and supervision of non-specialist health workers through digital learning and supervision platforms, by providing crucial decision support tools, or access to specialist consultation and support.

Within schools, life-skills training focusing on the development of social, emotional, problem-solving, and coping skills is considered best practice for building emotional and social competencies in children of all ages

In terms of treatment, care, and rehabilitation within low-resource settings, a basic package of interventions for children and young people could include parenting skills training programmes, which are effective for children with developmental, behavioural, and emotional problems


Comment: The importance of the availability and use of reliable mental healthcare information - for patients, caregivers and health workers - is prominent in this Commission. HIFA stands ready to bring together the expertise and experience of our members to lead a new HIFA Project on Mental Health, to help address information and knowledge gaps at all levels of the health system, including myths, misconceptions and stigma. We invite potential sponsors/collaborators to join us. Contact:

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (, which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: